Arson Defense Lawyers
Arson is intentionally damaging another person’s property through burning or explosion. It can refer to any property, but usually involves burning a building or vehicle. The degree of arson depends on the circumstances – destroying property of little value with little danger involved would be a misdemeanor while burning a building or car with a person inside could be a charged as an A-I felony. It is up to the criminal defense attorney to make sure that the degree of arson charged for the alleged crime fits the evidence that the prosecution provides. Higher degrees of arson depend a lot on the intentions of the defendant. The injury of a bystander could be considered a criminal intent of injury or a wanton disregard for the safety of others when in fact the defendant had no way of knowing that another person was present.
The punishments for arson depend on the degree. Fifth degree arson carries a maximum term of less than 1 year while first degree arson can mean up to life in prison. The criminal defense must prepare an aggressive strategy for charges of arson in order to avoid a conviction of first or second degree arson. The distinctions between the degrees can sometimes be very small. For example, someone may accidentally start a fire in a building by reckless behavior – which would be considered third degree arson – but through false or insufficient evidence they may end up charged with intentionally starting a fire. This can mean the difference between spending an extra 1-2 years in jail.
The prosecution can sometimes obtain evidence of arson from fire officials or forensic specialists; however, charges of arson are often based on insufficient evidence. Our criminal defense attorneys will challenge any evidence that the prosecution provides and look for faulty or inconsistent accounts. Charges of arson can often be based on inaccurate eye witness testimony. Using experienced private investigators, we re-examine the evidence of the crime, question witnesses and look for facts which can defend our clients.
Our criminal defense team is prepared to defend you against any charges involving property damage, injury or death caused by fire or explosions. We have the skill and experience to successfully protect our clients against the prospect of a criminal arson conviction. It is important to get in contact with us as soon as you are charged or come under suspicion so that we can immediately begin preparing an intimidating defense. We will also defend against arson if:
- A homeowner uses arson to collect insurance – this would also result in charges of insurance fraud
- A fire is used to cover up a separate crime
- Fire is used to intentionally harm another
If you or a loved one have been charged with arson, it is crucial that you have a criminal defense that is prepared to devote the time and resources to your case. Without a strong defense strategy, you could spend years in prison. Contact our criminal defense team as soon as possible so that we can dismiss or reduce any charges of arson.